Following the government’s latest COVID-19 statement, in which members of the public were urged to stay away from ‘social venues’ such as bars and restaurants, a number of key figures in the hospitality industry have taken to social media to express their frustration.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who operates Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in London and a clutch of restaurants in Marlow, summed up many people’s sentiments by tweeting “WTAF do we do now???? @BorisJohnson”
Meanwhile, MasterChef judge Monica Galetti (who also owns Mere in Fitzrovia) tweeted: “Well that sure made things a lot clearer... not”.
The Prime Minister’s statement warned the general public that they should “avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.” While the Prime Minister failed to namecheck restaurants specifically, many would assume that restaurants could be lumped under the more general term of ‘social venues.'
Famed restaurant critic Jay Rayner tweeted: “Let me add my voice to the justifiably outraged clamour of those furious at the govt for insisting hospitality and entertainment industries shut down without legally mandating them to do so, meaning they can’t claim insurance. Staggeringly reckless.”
As many famous names in the hospitality industry pointed out, the government encouraging people to avoid restaurants without formally closing them down could result in disaster.
Restaurateur Gary Usher meanwhile, who operates a handful of restaurants in the north of England and is famous for his strong opinions, posted: “I haven’t opened six restaurants to watch six restaurants close down & never open again. The future holds no certainty that is one of very few facts. Another fact is you will have to drag my stubborn corpse out of Sticky Walnut before someone tries to take Elite bistros from me.”
In what are undoubtedly unprecedented times for the restaurant industry, check out these simple ways you can help restaurants during COVID-19.